Sunday, June 19, 2011

To Hold Two Worlds

I remember saying goodbye to my parents in an airport for the first time. It was 1984 and Byron and I were leaving for our first 2 years in Africa. I was excited. But as I stood there in that airport, all I felt was pain. I lost my ability to speak and could only cry silently for the last few minutes.

Last Tuesday night saw me saying goodbye to my parents in an airport once again. I had already cried silently in the car on the way there. It was easier not to cry at the actual separation since I was being assisted to the gate. Recent surgery mandated a little help on the way and the presence of a stranger kept further tears at bay.

Goodbye tears notwithstanding, I was longing to be home. When I spotted Byron through the open doors of the arrivals area 38 hours later, I was immediately covered in smiles. It had been a long journey and he looked nothing less than beautiful to me.

We awoke next morning in Nairobi to the jarring news that my Dad was in hospital back in Pasadena after what might have been a very small mini stroke. (For those of you who know him, he's home and seems fine. He was in for about 24 hours and had about a hundred tests, but he's back at 725 with no indication of ill effect.)

Boy, did I feel far away.

Today is Father's Day and I wish teletransportation was a reality. In all these years, I've not found any way to ease the ache in either direction. Sometimes it just plain hurts to hold to worlds.

4 comments:

Mama Mpira said...

So sorry to hear about your dad, Lisa. Praying he makes a full recovery very quickly.
And yes, I think we all feel this pain of separation and sadness and joy of reunion all at once, so it seems...

Carolyn said...

Glad your dad is ok, and glad that Byron still looks beautiful! I wish for you a speedy recovery from here on out.

Carrie said...

I'm sorry. The pain and the distance are certainly hurtful.

Sheena said...

This was near to my heart to read! I so get this - especially the bit about the first big goodbye. I sobbed all the way to the gate. It's only been a year and a half (not counting the first six months I was here when I wasn't sure if I was staying and then had to go back to finish visa stuff) but I find Mother's Day (both the UK and the US one!), Father's Day and Thanksgiving especially difficult. But then again "Home is where the heart is" and I'd never want to trade this adventure for any other life!